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U.S. Naval Academy’s Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber joins Volunteer Fairfax in recognizing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy of service with a video message to families to help foster volunteerism with young people.  Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber, the Naval Academy’s first African American female brigade commander, is a Mechanical Engineering major who aspires to commission as a Marine Corps ground officer. In addition to her many service accomplishments, Barber initiated a STEM outreach program that leverages mentoring, literature, and service lessons for middle school-aged girls of color. She most recently mobilized a team of more than 180 midshipmen, faculty, and alumni to develop the Midshipman Diversity Team to promote greater diversity, inclusivity, and equity within the Brigade. The video message will be released on January 18th.

VF’s CEO Steve Mutty noted, “we are tremendously proud and honored to have Midshipman First Class Barber join us in welcoming the community to our annual MLK Weekend of Service. Registrations for this year’s virtual events have already surpassed last year. The fact that Midshipman First Class Barber can be introduced and have the opportunity to inspire more youth helps to amplify our message of impacting your community through volunteerism.”

VF’s MLK Weekend of Service kicks off with the Valentine’s Challenge on January 16th, in which more than 700 groups and individual volunteers have registered to create up to 10,000 valentine cards (in the safety of their homes), for children in foster care and frontline medical personnel. The valentine cards will be distributed in early February to frontline personnel through the INOVA Fairfax Hospital system, and to youth in the Fairfax County Department of Family Services and Foster Care to Success programs.

On January 18th, “Give Together”, a signature event of Volunteer Fairfax, helps to foster volunteerism in youth by providing opportunities for learning about a variety of mission areas and organizations that serve the diverse needs of our community. This year’s virtual event features a digital workbook with opportunities for families to complete service projects in mission areas that include foster care, homelessness, and food insecurity.

Also, on Monday, January 18th, in partnership with the Pozez Jewish Community Center (JCC), Volunteer Fairfax will host a food drive to benefit Food for Others.  All are welcome to drop-off canned food between 9 am and 12 pm at the JCC located at 8900 Little River Turnpike in Fairfax.

Volunteer Fairfax is especially proud to honor the legacy of Dr. King through this annual weekend of service. We would like to recognize our sponsors who make this event possible.  Thanks to Lead Partners – AT&T, Leidos, and Transurban. Gold Supporter – CGI and Silver Supporters – Deloitte, NetApp, Northwest Federal Credit Union, and NOVEC and Foundation Supporter – Virginia Service Corporation.

Volunteer Fairfax mobilizes people and resources to meet regional community needs through a variety of programs, special events, and services. For over 46 years, Volunteer Fairfax has consistently amplified community impact by Leading, Connecting, and Mobilizing through volunteerism.